In a past Bible Q&A, the question of “Are Babies Born in Sin?” was addressed. This past week, a comment was left by a reader named Joseph, disagreeing with the content of that article.
Hello Mr. Bradley,
I have read your article and I was a bit taken aback by your statement that babies are born sinless. Then [at] what age [do] they become sinners? what makes them sinners anyway?
if so, could you explain to me why then is the virgin birth of Jesus?
I am sure you may want to reconsider and edit this article, thank you
The following was my response in the comments of that article, but because others may have the same questions, I thought I would post it here as an article of its own.
Let us examine a few things.
(1). consider Ezekiel 18, which says clearly – “The son does not inherit the sin of the father.”
Either you believe this, or you don’t. If you believe it, then the idea that babies are born in sin, somehow inheriting the sin of some forefather, is obviously wrong.
If, however, you believe that Ezekiel was wrong (even though these are God’s words to him), then you either believe he was (1) lying, and thus nothing he wrote is trustworthy, (2) mistaken, and thus nothing he wrote is trustworthy, or (3) telling the truth about what God said, but that it was God who was lying, and thus nothing Ezekiel wrote is trustworthy.
That passage in Ezekiel – even if there were no other passages to go along with it – is enough to prove that babies are not born in sin.
(2) Consider that David, who was a man after God’s own heart, said that he would see his infant son again. He said this with confidence. He said, “He shall not come to me, but I shall go to him.”
If babies are born in sin, then die in sin (which would have to be the case with all babies who die), then the only way David could see his infant son again was for David to go to hell.
Do you think, given how David is called “a man after God’s own heart,” that he would willingly reject God so he could go to hell? I really hope that the idea sounds as stupid to you as it does to me.
The only way David could have the confidence of seeing his dead son–while still being a “man after God’s own heart”–would be if he knew his son was going to be in heaven.
And the only way that is possible is if that baby was sinless.
(3) The promise of forgiveness of sins comes ONLY after repentance. This is true in the Old Testament (God never forgave unrepentant sinners), as well as the New Testament (God never forgave unrepentant sinners).
The only way someone can repent is if they have the mental capability to (1) recognize their sin, and (2) make the decision to change.
I am certain you would agree that babies do not have such capability.
Since babies cannot repent, only two options exist: (1) they are all eternally lost–no exceptions (for God is no respecter of persons), or (2) they are not guilty of sin.
(4) Consider the judgment verses in the New Testament. Each and every one of them speaks of a basis for judgment. Each one speaks of people being judged BASED ON THEIR OWN ACTIONS. “According to their works.” “On the deeds they have done in the body, whether they be good or evil.” “I was naked and you clothed me, etc.”
Never once in the Bible is someone told that they are being condemned because of the actions or sins of someone else. Why? Because that would be completely unfair and arbitrary–something God is not.
(5) The apostle Paul clearly states that before he knew the law, he was “alive,” that is, spiritually alive before God–he had not sinned and separated himself from God. But after he learned the law, he “died” because he sinned.
Either Paul was a liar, thus nothing he wrote can be trusted, or Paul was mistaken, thus nothing he wrote can be trusted, or God lied to him, thus nothing he wrote can be trusted, or else Paul spoke the truth, and anyone who disagrees with his statement cannot be trusted.
Either you agree with Paul that he was once “alive” prior to learning God’s word, or you believe Paul was wrong.
(6) A person becomes a sinner–when they sin. Sins done in ignorance (such as not realizing it was wrong) are always classified differently than sins done with intent. Hebrews 10:26 – “If we sin WILLFULLY…” Hebrews 9:27 – “the sins DONE IN IGNORANCE…”
Someone becomes a sinner when they (1) learn right and wrong, and (2) choose to do wrong. Babies do not know right from wrong, and thus cannot sin.
So, from all the above, the Bible teaches that (1) each person sins when they learn right from wrong and choose to do wrong, (2) that no one can inherit sin from their father, let alone their great, great, great, great, great, etc. grandfather, Adam, (3) that babies are sinless, and will be in heaven.
Why is there a virgin birth? Because in order for Jesus to be “God with us,” and to be “the Son of God,” then God had to be the Father. No human father could exist to bring about the Son of God.
In order for it to be completely clear that God was the Father of Jesus Christ, the mother had to be a virgin–someone who had never been with a man.
Thank you for writing, and I hope this gives you some more things to consider.